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Laetare Sunday – Fourth Sunday of Lent

Laetare Sunday – Fourth Sunday of Lent

18 March 2012 – Laetare Sunday (B)

THIS SUNDAY: There were two remarkable moments in the story of the Old Testament where God saved his people; one was in the escape from Egypt – we’ll keep that for the Easter Vigil. The other was the end of their second exile, this time in Babylon, which we hear of today. Of course there was an even greater moment when God saved his people: the work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God – and we hear Jesus tell Nicodemus about that today. So today’s theme is “salvation”: but to understand “being saved”, we must ask “What from?” Saved from slavery, from exile, from human enemies – these are all clear. But the last and greatest salvation brought by Jesus is harder to understand: saved from sin and death. These threaten us as much as any other enemy, and our salvation in Jesus is as real as any other. We are also at the mid-way point of Lent – Laetare Sunday invites us to to a certain joy as we near the events that celebrate our salvation.

LENTEN SOUP LUNCHES: The second of our parish soup lunches takes place on Palm Sunday – 1 April – from 12 noon onwards. A great way to tap into that Lenten fasting as well as reaching our in love to those less fortunate than ourselves.   Just sing up on the list in the Narthex to ensure you are well catered for.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Each Sunday of Lent at 4.00pm, there will be the celebration of the Stations of the Cross followed by Benediction.

SUNDAY MORNING PRAYER: Just for the Season of Lent, we will continue to celebrate Morning Prayer in the Church each Sunday beginning at 9.45am.

FRIDAY HOLY HOUR: This Friday and for the remaining Fridays of Lent, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for an hour of prayer after the morning Mass (so from 10.00am until 11.00am).

VATICAN II COURSE: Keep 20 March (that’s this coming Tuesday) free in your diaries – Clifton Cathedral, 7.30pm. Professor Paul Murray from Durham University will be with us to talk about the Decree on Ecumenism and the Council’s ecumenical outreach and, of course, its impact on what we are called to be, as Church, today. Prof Murray is well able to deepen our understanding of the Council’s ecumenical initiatives, and it’ll be great to reflect upon how we continue to live the fruit of that invitation today. All are welcome – a fantastic series so far!

MASS IN ITALIAN: For the start of Holy Week and the celebration of Palm Sunday, Fr Gerardo Fabrizio will be with us to celebrate Mass at 5.00pm on Palm Sunday in Italian (1 April). Do come along if you can. There will be refreshments in the Hall afterwards.

TAIZE MUSIC AND PRAYER: At the start of our journey of Holy Week this year, there will be an evening of Taize prayer in the Church. This beautiful and simple evening of reflection will draw our attention towards the cross. In song and prayer, reflecting upon the scriptures and drawing upon the spirituality of Taize, we come to the Lord. Monday 2 April at 7.30pm. Do come along – there will also be opportunities for confession that evening, too.

LENTEN CONFESSIONS: There will opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation as we journey through Lent. The two Saturday opportunities are there as well as an opportunity as part of Taize evening or prayer on 2 April (7.30pm); also on the Tuesday of Holy Week (3 April) from 6.00pm until 7.30pm (altered), and Spy Wednesday (4 April) from 7.30pm until 8.15pm. There will be a couple of priests available those evenings.

THE ROAD TO CALVARY – A Passion Play: This reflection as we head towards Holy Week takes place at St Gerard’s, Knowle, on Friday 30 March at 7.00pm. Tickets cost £5. All are welcome.

TABLE TOP SALE: To raise some much needed funds for CLIC (Cancer and leukaemia in Children) and SANDS (Stillborn and neonatal death), Barbara Coles is hosting a table top sale in the Hall on Saturday 21 April from 12 – 200pm.  If you can help out by making baked goods, jams and preserves, or you have something for the gift table or some unused, unwanted toiletries, you can hand them into at the presbytery or contact Barbara on (01275) 837754 as soon as possible. Do come along on the day, though, and support these charities, please.

HOLY WEEK AND EASTER: The schedule for Holy Week this year is available for you to take away. Do make sure you pick up an extra one or two copies to pass around to folk who might just need a little encouragement to come and celebrate Easter with us.

FOR YOUR PRAYERS: We remember in our prayers Evelyn Welling and Kathleen Joyce who both died during this last week. Evelyn’s funeral will take place at South Bristol Crematorium this coming Friday at 2.00pm, and Kathleen Joyce’s funeral takes place here at St Bernadette’s on Monday 26 March at 10.00am. May they rest in peace.

OUR PRIMARY SCHOOL: Do keep our primary school in your prayers this week as they welcome the Section 48 (RE) inspector into school on Tuesday and Thursday.

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